The executive chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Surve, says the African continent and the world needs Chinese leadership at the present moment as other countries are turning backs on the continent.
Photo: GCIS
The executive chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Surve, says the African continent and the world needs Chinese leadership at the present moment as other countries are turning backs on the continent. Photo: GCIS

Africa-China relationship based on mutual benefit- Dr Iqbal Survé

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Jun 15, 2020

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Cape Town - The executive chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé, says the African continent and the world needs Chinese leadership at the present moment as other countries are turning backs on the continent.

Speaking during a webinar on Monday, Survé said what is unique with China’s relationship with Africa is the fact that the relationship is based on benefiting both parties. 

The webinar focused on people-to-people and media cooperation during and post the Covid-19 pandemic and guests included diplomats, politicians, respected journalists from all over the African continent and China. 

Survé said while the media group he chairs gives China news coverage, unlike others, it was doing so with no malicious intentions and it was doing so objectively.

“We have heard today about how China has contributed immensely towards the beneficiation of the African people, support of the PPEs on Covid-19, in support not just in actual materials but also in human support, etc. And of course, that in itself represents the good intentions and the ambitions of the Chinese people… Many people try and build a divide between African people and the Chinese people and they do so on the basis of propaganda. To be frank, whereas the reality is that the Chinese people and the African people are united. Both come from deep, deep structural problems in terms of economic development. Of course, China has overcome that in the last 30 to 40 years,” Survé said. 

Survé said the world critically needs Chinese leadership in global affairs. 

“The world needs Chinese leadership now more than ever because of the way that we are seeing other leaders of the world turn their backs, in particular on the African continent. China and Africa have a relationship which is forged in mutual benefit, forged in a win-win philosophy. This relationship will continue to extend into the areas of medicine, into the areas of social development, into the areas of infrastructure,” he said.

Continuing on the importance of the Africa-China relationship, Ndipiwe Madiba, from the Madiba clan in the Eastern Cape, told the webinar that the relationship is critical for the development of South Africa. He added that the Chinese economic model shows that state-owned enterprises have a role to play in economic development and South Africa should prioritise their own SoEs in its bid to rebuild its struggling economy.

“South Africa is a country that is faced with many challenges including the collapse of SoEs.  I believe that the collapsing of SoEs is a direct attempt to sabotage... to try and privatise (them) so that they can be controlled by individuals and not benefit the people of South Africa. If we look at the Chinese, economy, it has been boosted by the SoEs which is state-owned enterprises. So I think it is very important that South Africa post Covid-19, must look into ways that it can learn from China on how it implements policies,” Madiba said. 

Anwar Adams, a councillor of the Democratic Independent Party which has significant representation in the City of Cape Town, said citizens of both China, South Africa and the African continent must work together to ensure that their citizens benefit from their resources. 

“We have been friends and we have been doing businesses and we can map the way forward… there is not yet equality, our majority is poverty-stricken and only a minority of our country is reaping the rewards of our fruitful country. It is our mission to help bring about change benefiting all,” Adams said.

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